*To watch the film (w/ subtitles), click here.
Consider all of the following.
1. Consider the significance of father’s message about mercy & its relation to the rest of the film.
2. Consider the significance of Zushio’s corruption, transformation, and rejuvenation.
3. Consider the use of flashbacks in the first half of film.
4. Consider the representations of the mother and father.
5. Consider the mood throughout the film, and its numerous changes.
6. Consider the notion of human nature presented in the film. How is human evil presented?
7. Consider the most affecting/beautiful scenes.
8. Consider what happens in the end (with Sanshō and his slave factory). Are scores settled? Is revenge exacted? Is there resolution?
9. Consider how are women portrayed in the work. What sort of society do the women live in, and what is their role within it? (Note: this is favorite topic of Mizoguchi’s.)
10. Consider the representation of Anju.
11. Consider what liberal or left-leaning ideas or ideologies inform the film. How do these relate to the historical context of postwar Japan?
12. Consider how the Mother’s song functions as a kind of recurring motif. What does the musical score add to the film?
13. Consider why Mizoguchi chooses to reverse the ages of the two children.
14. Consider the acting. Is this realistic/mimetic method acting, or is it more formal & stylized?
15. Consider the religious elements in the film.